Take time daily to be alone with yourself, away from phones, the Internet and noise. Making time for solitude is a gift you give yourself. Insist on it, and don’t allow anyone, including yourself, to talk you out of it.
Here are what I consider six benefits of quiet time.
1. Lighten UpIn a stressed state, it’s so easy to lose touch with inner peace, compassion and kindness; in a relaxed state, your mind is clear and you can connect with a deeper sense of purpose and good. Meditation and medication are derived from the Latin word medicus, to care or to cure. A time of quiet calmness is, therefore, the most effective remedy for a busy and overworked mind. Anytime you feel stress rising, heart closing, mind going into overwhelm, just bring your focus to your breathing and quietly repeat with each in-and-out breath: Breathing in, I calm my body and mind; breathing out, All is well.
2. Let Go
Stillness is always there between the thoughts, behind the drama, underneath the noise. What keeps us from experiencing our natural state of peace is the habitual and ego-dominated monkey mind. Meditation enables us to see clearly, to witness our thoughts and behavior and reduce self-involvement. Without such a practice of self-reflection there’s no way of putting a brake on the ego’s demands. From being self-centered, we can become other-centered, concerned about the welfare of all.
Take a moment to appreciate the chair you’re sitting on. Consider how the chair was made: the wood, cotton, wool, or other fibers, the trees and plants that were used, the earth that grew the trees, the sun and rain, the animals that maybe gave their lives, the people who prepared the materials, the factory where the chair was made, the designer and carpenter and seamstress, the shop that sold it—all this just so you could be sitting here, now. Then extend that deep appreciation to everything and everyone in your life.